The Paradigm and Paradox of Place: Threshold Crossing of Sacred Architecture


Karim W. F. Youssef – Assistant Professor, College of Architecture, Visual Arts, and Design, California Baptist University, Riverside, CA, USA

Series: Urban Development and Infrastructure
BISAC: ARC000000; ARC016000; ARC005000

The contemporary city needs redemption through the rediscovery of its sacred functions and the architecture of its built form. The contemporary city not only suffers a crisis of representation and imagination but also a crisis of contextualization and identity. The primary task of architecture is not the creation of a pretty building but an impulse for the construction of the human subject, defining what it is to be human. To achieve that, our understanding of architecture needs to rediscover its core. Two converging calls for rediscovery of architecture’s core are the return to the architecture of place and to the architecture of the sacred. The architecture of place raises issues of determinants of place such as identity, cohesion, character, and aura of place, issues that problematize the unity of architecture. The architecture of the sacred on the other hand raises issues of memory and imagination, moral virtue, truth, and beauty, issues that raise the symbolic quotient as the core of the sacred. The nature of architecture involves simultaneously a rediscovery of place and the sacred. After exploring the dimensions, properties, aspects, and dynamics of space, the book constructs a framework for sacred architecture based on theories of place, systematics, and our six main mental faculties. Inspired by the theory of human becoming, the framework for sacred architecture brings together several strands of scholarly literature and synthesizes perspectives on the sacred from several disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, and religious studies as well as architecture and urbanism, the latter two of which constitute the focus of the book. Sacred architecture is defined foremost as a place (event) of human becoming created to transform, empower, and originate. The book does not claim to have solved the enigma of sacred architecture, an enigma that harbors dichotomies between the material and the transcendent, the real and the ideal, matter and mind, the instrumental and the communicative. Nevertheless, the book points out the processes underlying the form of sacred architecture to further an understanding of this topic for architectural and urban design students, designers, and practitioners who face the challenge of creating meaningful, communicative, and transformative places.

**Order the printed version and SAVE 50% on the e-book with Print+eBook**

Table of Contents



The Nature of Architecture
The Category of the Sacred
Rationale, Goal, and Objectives
Structure of the Book

Chapter 1. The Transcendental Locus of Architecture
Space and Place
The Nature of Sacred Space

Chapter 2. Defining Sacred Space and Sacred Architecture
Examples of Transcendence
Seven Lamps of Sacred Architecture
Other Dimensions

Chapter 3. A Framework for Sacred Architecture
Threshold Crossing of Mental Faculties
Triadic Axes

Chapter 4. Chaosity: Spatialized and Symbolized Sacred
Symbolic Form
Embodiment of Image
Spatiality from Within
Symbolic Image

Chapter 5. Amorphicity: Embedded and Enfolded Sacred
Axis Mundi
Orientation and Cosmogram

Chapter 6. Dispositionality:  Extended and Expanded Sacred
Sacred Urbanism
Spatial Patterning



About the Author


Publish with Nova Science Publishers

We publish over 800 titles annually by leading researchers from around the world. Submit a Book Proposal Now!